Neuroendocrine tumor (NET) is a rare condition that unfortunately is very often asymptomatic.


The symptoms of a neuroendocrine tumor vary depending on its type and location and whether it is functional or non-functional. Many of the neuroendocrine tumors are asymptomatic, even if they have metastasized, especially non-functional tumors that only cause symptoms at late stages, due to the large tumor size.

Functional tumors on the contrary often show clinical symptoms, as they produce an excess of hormones regulating different body processes. The symptoms they cause depend on the type of hormone they secrete – insulin, serotonin, gastrin, glucagon, etc., but they also have several symptoms in common.

Common symptoms of NETs

Here is a number of common symptoms for functional NETs:

•    headaches, confusion
•    trembling, anxiety
•    eyesight changes
•    weakness
•    weight loss, loss of appetite
•    diarrhea
•    wheezing and coughing
•    flushing and skin rash
•    cramps, bleeding in the stomach
•    high blood sugar
•    anemia, etc.

Symptoms depending on location

Other symptoms may appear depending on the organ where the tumor has developed. Thus, a neuroendocrine tumor in your digestive system can cause abdominal pain and discomfort, vomiting, changes in your bowel habits, etc. A lung tumor may result in breathing problems, chest infections, coughing, etc. and pancreatic tumors can cause jaundice.

Last updated: 6/16/19

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